Upon reading the article about the growing number of men with eating disorders, I almost felt compelled to kick off this entry with details about how great my BBQ chicken pizza was last night.
But discussing male eating disorders in jest plays into stereotypes about men and women, and negates a very serious issue.
Professor Hubert Lacey, who runs the eating disorder unit at a hospital in London, has seen the number of male referrals double in the past few years.
Speaking with Sky News, Professor Lacey said, “These are just my observations and because the numbers are so small, statistics can be misleading but I think there has been a cultural change.”
Indeed, as men the world over are losing their jobs at rapid rates it’s prompting many to be overly concerned about their outward appearance.
“The recession is a factor because when jobs are under threat, people think more about how they present themselves,” he added.
And though this article is based in London, in the weight-obsessed culture we live in it doesn’t take a great leap of faith to believe the issue may affect many men stateside.
The matter should not be limited to comparisons of narcissism, however. For a number of men, the issue is about control.
As previously noted, with men being affected by the recession more than women, more women are taking on the role of breadwinner. This sort of switch can only heighten insecurities, and thus, prompt men to become obsessed with controlling at least one aspect of their lives.
Unfortunately, with the issue of eating disorders being viewed as more of a women’s problem not many men are willing to discuss their plight with weight openly due to the fear of their masculinity being questioned.
That sadly only adds to the problem.
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Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.